The booby traps on Millicent Feske's postage-stamp front lawn are marvels of self-defense in a brass-knuckles presidential race.

She has hand-stitched fishing wire across the top of two Hillary Clinton campaign signs to keep them snugly attached to their wire frames. Hidden inside the signs are two duct-taped alarms, with a trip wire attached to each.

This, the Methodist minister explained Tuesday, is her crafty counterattack to the campaign-sign aggression committed every four years on her highly visible Main Line lawn, which has been a battlefield of election enmity for nearly a decade.

Uproot the Clinton signs in the dark of night? Toss them into Wynnewood Road and run over them? You'll be nabbed - or, at least, too startled to finish the job.

"Nobody's going to get hurt," said the 63-year-old theology professor at St. Joseph's University. "I didn't electrify them or anything like that."

Necessity was the mother of invention here. Thousands of cars and trucks pass Feske's Haverford Township, Delaware County, home near Haverford Avenue. The location has long made her property and those of other neighbors targets of vandals.

"I take my signs inside at night," said next-door neighbor Meg Ledbetter, 33.

Things were not always so in-your-face.

Sure, there was trouble here and there. Soon after Feske, a Democrat who is the Louisiana-born daughter of Goldwater Republicans, moved into historically Republican Haverford Township in 1999, a sign or two would get tossed into the street.

"We had tire marks on them at least once," she said.

But then came Barack Obama, the first African American major-party nominee and eventual president. After Feske planted an Obama-Biden sign she bought online, vandalism turned into thievery; it vanished.

This time, the special-ordered Clinton sign she put on her lawn lasted for just one week before it went missing.

Feske, with a doctorate in theology from Emory University, was done turning the other cheek.

"I Facebooked everybody and said, 'I'm looking up ways to prevent my signs from being stolen,' " she said.

Embracing one suggestion, Feske not only reordered a Clinton sign, she had a website send a separate sign with this ancillary message: "Every time you steal one of our signs, we contribute another $50 to the Clinton campaign. Thank you for supporting Hillary Clinton for President."

But for the real deterrent, she crafted the alarm system based on instructions found online (

She ordered the personal alarms, and added the fishing line as her own way to ensure no one could disarm the booby trap.

"It's not complete unless one sews the sleeve onto the top bar of the sign holder," she explained. "Otherwise, someone can clip off the sleeve without setting off the alarm."

That wasn't enough, though. She even coated the edge of her signs with slime - "I had Vaseline on it at one point" - before realizing it was just too gross and was making the sign look grubby.

Police Chief John Viola laughed when asked if he knew about this homeowner's plight. He said that even in this turbulent election, with the endless rancor between the campaigns and followers of Democratic presidential nominee Clinton and her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, lawn-sign crimes were no more numerous than in years past.

"No matter who runs," Viola said, again laughing, "there's always someone who's taking signs down."

When she lived in Dallas, Feske recalled, she had no troubles with lawn signs.

She wondered if the recent change has more to do with the way national politics have devolved than with her zip code.

"Unprecedented" is how she describes this election. "Shocking."

Since putting up the stealth alarms a few weeks ago, all has been quiet on her front lawn.

Except for one recent scare that makes Feske break into a belly laugh.

"The alarm went off," she said. "But that's because my neighbor Steve mowed the lawn."

That time, the culprit was a very nonpartisan weed-whacker.